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2021 Breeders Cup Classic Picks, Predictions & Free Bets – See Horses Handicappers Like at Del Mar

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Want Breeders Cup Classic picks for the big race from Del Mar? SportsLens has detailed analysis of the centerpiece race of the World Championships in California. Check out our Longines Breeders Cup Classic predictions from handicappers for Saturday, November 6 (8:40 EDT) here.

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Cox barn has top two Breeders Cup Classic contenders

Kentucky trainer Brad Cox sent four out from his barn to win at last year’s meet when the World Championships were at Keeneland. He has built on those Breeders Cup successes with a first Triple Crown race win this season in the Belmont Stakes with ESSENTIAL QUALITY.

A three-year-old Tapit colt carrying the world-famous all-blue silks of Godolphin, he is eight from nine career starts. Essential Quality landed a two-year-old trifecta with victory in the TVG Breeders Cup Juvenile dirt race 12 months ago. He has since won the Belmont and Travers Stakes up in New York.

The only disappointment on his resume is finishing out of the show in the Kentucky Derby. There were excuses for Essential Quality, though, who had to race wide into the home stretch at Churchill Downs. He has since turned the tables on old rival Hot Rod Charlie, so that one isn’t among Breeders Cup Classic picks as a result.

Knicks Go favorite with oddsmakers

Forecast Breeders Cup Classic odds don’t even have Essential Quality as favorite, however, with Cox also running KNICKS GO here. A five-year-old son of Paynter, he won the Dirt Mile race at this meet last year in some style. Knicks Go wintered well and came back from Florida with the Pegasus World Cup.

He then suffered two defeats, failing to show in the Saudi Cup and under a big weight in the Metropolitan Handicap. Knicks Go has since bested Silver State off equal terms in the Whitney Stakes. Dropped in grade as preparation for this last time out, oddsmakers on online betting sites and sportsbooks feel he can concede weight for age to the three-year-olds.

However, the Metropolitan result begs to differ. Knicks Go couldn’t give weight away that day. The value bet from Cox’s two Breeders Cup Classic contenders may be Essential Quality, then. He has won over further and can use that proven stamina to best effect. This is the longest distance Knicks Go has ever tackled, meanwhile.

Bet on Essential Quality in the Breeders Cup Classic 2021 at Bovada

Kentucky Derby winner has big Breeders Cup Classic odds

Other prominent Breeders Cup Classic contenders in the betting include HOT ROD CHARLIE. Disqualified for causing interference in the Haskell Stakes, the Oxbow colt made up for that with victory in the Pennsylvania Derby. The case against this Doug O’Neill runner is his one from three record in clashes with Essential Quality.

Hot Rod Charlie wasn’t going the pace to challenge in the Belmont or the Kentucky Derby. It also doesn’t make sense that the horse showing from the big one at Churchill Downs has shorter forecast odds than the winner, MEDINA SPIRIT, here. That one is locally trained, so that could make all the difference.

Bob Baffert has a superb recent record in the race with four Breeders Cup Classic winners from the last seven editions of the World Championships. Medina Spirit is no American Pharoah but the way the barn have prepared him for this could turn out to be a masterplan.

Freshened up over the summer after defeat in the Preakness Stakes, the Protonico colt dropped down in grade to Listed level to begin his build-up. Baffert ran Medina Spirit at Del Mar, giving him vital experience of the track. That could give him an edge over some of his rivals.

Medina Spirit then romped home back in Grade 1 company in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park. For a horse that always made the show, he has relatively big forecast odds against the Cox duo. No Breeders Cup Classic picks should ignore the claims of the California trained Medina Spirit.

Bet on Medina Spirit in the Breeders Cup Classic 2021 at Bovada

Art Collector and Max Player arrive at Del Mar in form

William Mott has trained two previous Breeders Cup Classic winners, so ART COLLECTOR joining his barn this summer could be significant. A Blue Grass Stakes winner for Thomas Drury Jr at three, he disappointed in both the Preakness and Dirt Mile last fall. Art Collector has won all three starts as a four-year-old, though.

He has gone through the grades, culminating in making all in the Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park. On last year’s Breeders Cup meeting with Knicks Go, there is no obvious reason why Art Collector can turn the tables with the favorite, however.

MAX PLAYER represents Steve Asmussen who trained the winner of this when the World Championships were last at Del Mar four years ago. After joining the barn from Linda Rice, it has taken this four-year-old Honor Code colt time to settle in. Max Player also failed to make the show in last season’s Preakness finishing behind Art Collector.

Something twigged on his third try over the Breeders Cup Classic distance at Belmont Park in July, though. Max Player prevailed by a neck for a Grade 2 success in New York. He then followed-up with a breakthrough win at the highest level in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Both Art Collector and Max Player need to improve again here.

2021 Breeders Cup Classic Picks

  • Essential Quality to win
  • Medina Spirit to show

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2021 Breeders Cup Classic Picks, Predictions & Free Bets - See Horses Handicappers Like at Del Mar

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